This morning I have great news to share with all of you who are in the throes of preparing Easter Cantatas, Passion Plays, Vignettes, Illustrated Sermons, Special Music, etc., etc. Don't get discouraged; what you are doing matters. It matters very much!
Easter is absolutely my favorite time of year! And yesterday I was reminded once again, in a very personal way, just why Easter should be marked and celebrated by us all.
My sister and her husband live in NC with three of the most amazing nieces and nephews you've ever met. (I know one of you just said, "She said three!" One niece; two nephews - is that better? Smile.) Anyway, they have been visiting various churches in their area for the past few weeks so the two youngest prefer to stay with them in service instead of going to children's church. Not a problem except that yesterday the church they visited was having their Easter production.
Now this is a really large church just outside Charlotte and they do things big - really BIG. My sister said the presentation was incredible. (And she has been involved with all types of Easter musicals. Still, she was impressed; so you know it was good stuff.) It was apparent that great effort had gone in to the writing, staging, rehearsing, set design, solo selection.....well, every detail was well covered. They were glad they had chosen to attend there that day.
But when they got home, there was an even greater moment of delight coming. Robbie, the amazing six year old nephew, made an announcement. "I want to ask Jesus to come into my heart." Simply, without any pretense, no fanfare - "I get it. I understand that Jesus died for my sins. I want to ask Him to come into my heart."
Tears come to my eyes as I write this. Yes, I'm thrilled about my precious nephew coming to know Jesus for himself. He has made the transition from hearing about the Jesus that Mom and Dad serve to his own personal relationship.
I'm also thrilled for each of us who go to such lengths to mark Easter - Resurrection Sunday. Robbie has now reminded us all about the wonder of the Gospel message. None of the music or drama at yesterday's presentation was intentionally geared for a six year old to understand it or be impacted. As a matter of fact, it was quite the opposite. Last winter when the music pastor selected that drama, he had moms, dads, single parents, young adults in mind - that is the audience he's responsible for.
But God designed the Gospel so that even the most elaborate presentation can not cloud the truth for even the most simple heart. God loves us; Jesus died for us; He wants a relationship with us! End of story. (Or I should say, beginning of story. Smile.)
I'm really amazed by the wonder and elegance of God's ability to reach both the simple and the wise with His message. It is for us ALL!
Vonnie,Chris and Seth did a great thing seven years ago when they opened their hearts and their home to become a foster family. In God's timing and plan, He sent several children to live with them but eventually Rosie and Robbie were the two they were able to adopt. The lives of those two were put on a brand new path and that was a wonderful thing.
But yesterday marked the culmination of hoped for change. Robbie listened to a presentation designed to draw adults to the cross and he understood for himself that we ALL need a Savior.
Now, given his skills set, Robbie will probably be a major league pitcher some day - not a preacher. But he has certainly delivered an eloquent message to all of us. "A little child shall lead them."
Be blessed this week as together we remember the sacrifice, the sorrow and the joy of our salvation. Ah, the wonder of it all!